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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

"The beauty of silence” - Neil Young in Minneapolis


Neil Young
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland, Oregon, July 19, 2010
Photo Gallery by Jim Misiano on Facebook


From The Red Chair a mini review of Neil Young's concert in Minneapolis, MN on July 29, 2010:
We’ve had the fortune of seeing a lot of concerts in the Twincy [Twin Cities].

Artists who travel the country, spreading the meaning of their lyrics and songs with their fans. We’ve all been to a show that ends with “…Goodnight Minneapolis!” On Thursday night we had the fortune of seeing a show that both started and ended with nothing. No “Good Evening” and no “Goodbye”.

How else would you maintain a musical career for 50 years?

At times, Neil Young wandered the stage – almost in confusion. Staring at instruments, scratching his chin. None of his songs were introduced, and complete silence filled the gaps between jams. To some this might sound horrible, but to us – it was brilliant.

We sat between 20-somethings, and 70-somethings – each song giving a different meaning to each of their lives. This got us thinking – a song that means one thing to us, and something completely different to the woman sitting next to us came across in our own unique way.

We’ve never seen Neil Young live, but if he tours again – believe me - we’ll be there…

Thanks The Red Chair!

More Neil Young Concert Reviews - Minneapolis, July 29, 2010.

Also, see Neil Young's "Twisted Road" Concert Tour Reviews.


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10 Comments:

At 8/03/2010 07:50:00 PM, Blogger Matthew Lintzenich said...

I love how Neil Young wanders around the state between songs, looking at the instruments, seeming to play up the whole "What will I play next, hmmm..." thing, when he knows exactly what he's going to do. Or maybe it's a kind of reverential thing. I don't know, but very cool.

One thing I've never seen Neil do is put his guitar down, walk right over to the next instrument he needs, grab it, sit back down and immediately start playing. Always with the wandering. It's kind of like the endless veering and wandering of his career, as he chases his muse from album to album, tour to tour, but with a ferocious intensity. He knows what he's doing, he simply choses to wander and zig-zag from project to project.

So the stage wandering, and looking at the instruments, is almost like this reverential symbol of that, like this between-songs performance art or something.

And Neil needn't say anything - he does all his talking through song.

He was a bit more chatty, it seems when he was in his 20's, telling stories and whatnot and talking about the songs.

Well, heck, even in the 90's, there was the Old King rap he did, so if he feels the need to talk about a song, I suppose he will.

But, eh, hello, goodbye, no need for any of that.

 
At 8/04/2010 04:25:00 AM, Anonymous Graham Thomson said...

When Neil played his solo Greendale concerts his chatting between songs was almost as long as the songs themselves and very entertaining. So trying to say he does this or doesn't do that is just a waste of time. There is no pattern or blueprint for Neil's performances.

 
At 8/04/2010 08:57:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Thompson is right...if yer looking for CONSISTANCY in Neil's career, DON'T...

 
At 8/04/2010 09:13:00 AM, Blogger Matthew Lintzenich said...

Oh yeah, the Greendale between-song talking, how could I forget that!

Alright, so he's always been somewhat of a between-song chatterer, if he feels it's warranted.

 
At 8/04/2010 10:03:00 AM, Anonymous Mr Henry said...

During the Greendale tour, Neil had a lot to say between songs...at least when he first started this tour. It was great to just sit back and listen to him set the table for each song, then listen to the songs and watch the show.

By the time the Greendale tour was winding down, he pretty much just let the songs and the performances speak for themselves. The last time I saw Greendale, Neil's introduction was "These songs used to be new, and now they're not". Start to finish, lasted only about 90 minutes; first time I saw Greendale, was around 2 1/2 hours. So we must have had about an hour of hearing Neil describe his songs and what they meant. That's probably as much as I've heard in all of the other shows I've seen combined...which is what made it so incredibly unique and beautiful.

The tradeoff was in the encore set, which was brief for the longer Greendale performances and really a whole other set for the shorter ones. So again here, I think that Neil was rewarding his fans, those who were willing to be patient and walk with him through something new. And of course, maybe he felt like he's already said what he needed to and was feeling to urge to move on.

I do know that when he is talkative before a song (on those rare occasions), it is very meaningful and poignant (e.g. intro to Daddy Went Walking at Farm Aid '99; Old King intro during '92 solo tour; dedicating Old Man to Ben....). And when he hardly says a word, well he's communicating all he needs to with his voice, guitar and band. And also just with the silences and with his presence and calm.

I saw Steve Earle and Hot Tuna this past Saturday night. Both performances were wonderful, and both had just the right amount of intro and audience talk and interaction. Steve opened with Christmas in Washington and got the audience singing along w/in thirty seconds. He told us about his new son, his nephew's return from Irag, how he hates what's happened in the Gulf...all heartfelt and not a word was extraneous. I had an eye lock with him for about 30 seconds during My Old Friend The Blues...that was some pretty heavy communication too!! During the Hot Tuna set, Jorma mostly did the talking between songs (his voice is still amazing!) and that was kept pretty short and sweet. But the communication between him and Jack Cassidy when they played really said it all, and there were sometimes two other guitars as well (including G.E. Smith) or another guitar and electric mandolin, so they were saying all they needed to there. Jorma did say this was the last show of the tour and he was really psyched to get back to Athens for the Demolition Derby. Oh, and they brought Steve out for the encore...Steve said "this was a total gas and I would love to do it again" (meaning the tour) to which Jorma replied "Any time, brother!".

I wouldn't be surprised if there are some shows in the upcoming third leg of Twisted Road where Neil does talk more. When the time is right, he'll probably talk some about LA and Ben, what they meant to his music and still mean to him. But if he doesn't, then really he's already telling us so much with what he plays and what he doesn't say.

"Ballads are harder...because you've got so much more time...."
--Tommy Flanagan

If you ask me "Where is the moon?", look where I am pointing, don't look at my finger.
Zen Proverb

 
At 8/07/2010 10:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't stay silent anymore

Twisted Road tour has had THE least variety of any Neil tour (w/more than 2 or 3 dates)


Gotta be some reason.


-Not Rotten Johnny

 
At 8/07/2010 09:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Songs that mean one thing to you and something entirely to those alongside you.....sorta sounds like art to me.

Rusted in KY

 
At 8/12/2010 04:01:00 PM, Anonymous Terri Haram said...

Does anyone know if Burt will be opening up for Neil?

 
At 9/01/2010 03:39:00 PM, Blogger July Archives said...

Le Noise says it all .Ive been listening and watching and listing to Neil Young for 41 years and i,ve always said its the noise he makes .Also his melodies are in a different universe to the rest of modern music .On the special features dvd on Heart of Gold Emmylou Harris describes Youngs music as a seperate catorgory from country,rock,blues,rap etc etc she said there should be a Neil Young catorgory.I,ll go along with that
regards
jimmy

 
At 9/03/2010 10:59:00 PM, Blogger dmayers MO said...

I saw the same between "wandering" behavior at the Ryman TW show this year. From my third row vantage point I saw it from the perspective that Neil was so emotionally involved in each song, that it took him a few momemts after the song to regroup and remember what to play next. You don't see that level of song playing every day. It was memorable to say the least.

 

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